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Top 9 Tips | How to Fix Steam Disk Write Read Error

Does Steam stop downloading files during the process? If you receive the message: an error occurred while updating a game - disk read error, relax! You will get nine tried and tested fixes for Steam disk write error.

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Updated by Roxanne on Feb 19, 2024
Written by Jean

You can follow these fixes whenever you encounter a Steam disk write error while installing or updating games.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Restart Steam or PC Open any Steam window. In the top-left corner, click the word "Steam" to open a drop-down...Full steps
Fix 2. Clear Download Cache Open "Steam", go to "Settings". Click "Downloads", and select "Clear Download Cache"...Full steps
Fix 3. Repair Steam Disk Bad Sectors Download EaseUS Partition Master and install it. Right-click the disk that you want to check...Full steps
Fix 4. Run as Administrator Navigate to your Steam folder and right-click Steam.exe, click "Properties"...Full steps
Fix 5. Move Game Folder Connect the destination drive to your computer. Choose the games you want...Full steps
Other Useful Fixes Remove write protection > Check Steam disk bad sectors > Reinstall Steam...Full steps

Steam Disk Write Error While Downloading/Upgrading

Usually, when installing or updating a popular Steam game, such as Dota Underlords, Football Manager, Kenshi, Tree of Savior, and Team Fortress, you may encounter an error that suggests a Steam disk write error or perhaps disk read error. You can refer to the error details and related screenshots.

  • An error occurred while updating [game title]
  • An error occurred while installing [game title]

steam disk write error

As you can tell, the extra information in the parenthesis behind the detailed error message is disk related. This issue can occur anytime when a game is updated or installed on Steam. Then, Steam becomes unable to complete the installation. Thus, to have Steam disk problems solved, you need to take prompt actions to repair the hard drive in question.

How to Fix the Steam Disk Write Read Error

In this part, you will find the top nine solutions that can assist you in fixing the Steam Disk Write Read Error.

Fix 1. Restart Steam and Computer

No matter when you stuck in trouble, restarting can always help you. For example, the computer blue screen, black screen, disk error, etc., and Steam disk error is no expectation. The first thing you should try is to restart Steam and PC.

To restart Steam:

Step 1. Open any Steam window.

Step 2. In the top-left corner, click the word "Steam" to open a drop-down menu.

Step 3. From the drop-down menu, select "Exit" (Windows) or "Quit Steam" (Mac). Steam will close.

Step 4. Open Steam again, and log back in if you've been logged out.

restart steam

Then, you can try again to see if the disk read error or write error happens again.

To restart PC:

Step 1. Click the "Start" icon.

Step 2. Go to "Shut down or sign out > Restart."

restart PC to fix steam disk write error

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What should we do when the Steam not enough disk space error occurs? How to remove this error? Don't worry; below, you'll learn how to free up disk space on Steam and extend your partition directly using third-party free software.

steam not enough disk space

Fix 2. Clear Steam Download Cache

Another way to fix the error is to clear the download cache. This operation forces the Steam client to flush locally cached configuration data and acquire it from the Steam server again.

To clear Steam download cache:

Step 1. Open "Steam", go to "Settings".

Step 2. Click "Downloads", and select "Clear Download Cache".

After that, try to reopen Steam and see if it works.

Fix 3. Check and Repair Steam Disk Bad Sectors

If there are bad sectors on your Steam drive, you may also encounter the disk write error related to Steam, Origin, or other games. Then, you should check if there are bad sectors on your drive.

1 - Check Bad Sectors on the Steam Disk

Starting from this approach, you'll need additional help from a third-party free partition manager tool, which is EaseUS Partition Master. First of all, the Surface Test feature is extremely easy-to-use in checking bad sectors. Follow the steps below to check the bad sectors.

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Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master. Right-click the disk that you want to check, and then click "Surface Test".

Step 2. The operation will be immediately performed and all bad sectors will be marked as red.

If no error is found, go back to Steam and see if the Steam game update is stuck still.

2 - Replace Failing Steam Hard Drive

If you find some error, which is responsible for the Steam downloading/upgrading error, it is a nice choice to clone the drive to another HDD and replace the drive. Fortunately, EaseUS Partition Master can also make it.

To replace a failing hard drive with a new one, use EaseUS Partition Master's clone disk function:

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Step 1. Select the source disk.

  • Click the "Clone" from the left menu. Select the "Clone OS Disk" or "Clone Data Disk"  and click "Next".
  • Choose the source disk and click "Next".

Step 2. Select the target disk.

  • Choose the wanted HDD/SSD as your destination and click "Next" to continue.
  • Read Warning message and confirm "Yes" button.

Step 3. View the disk layout and edit the target disk partition size. 

Then click "Continue" when the program warns it will wipe out all data on the target disk. (If you have valuable data on the target disk, back up it in advance.)

You can select "Autofit the disk", "Clone as the source" or "Edit disk layout" to customize your disk layout. (Select the last one if you want to leave more space for C drive.)

Step 4. Click "Start" to start the disk cloning process.

EaseUS Partition Master can also fix the Palworld disk write error:

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How to Fix Disk Write Error in Palworld | 5 Ways

This comprehensive article will teach players five workable solutions to repair the disk write error in Palworld.

palworld disk write error

Fix 4. Run Steam as an Administrator

There are times when you are not an administrator, and you can not get access to specific applications. Running software as an administrator gives it extra permissions and can fix several odd problems.

Step 1. Navigate to your Steam folder and right-click Steam.exe, click "Properties."

Step 2. Select the "Compatibility" tab.

Step 3. Under Privilege Level, check "Run this program as an administrator."

Step 4. Click "Apply > OK".

run steam as administrator

Fix 5. Move Steam Game Folder to Another Drive

Another effective way to solve Steam disk write error is by moving Steam to another healthy drive. A manual copy cannot guarantee the result. All you need is EaseUS Todo PCTrans. It provides Steam users with three practical game transfer modes: PC to PC, Image Transfer, and App Migration. Each makes it the best overall Steam game transfer tool to move a PC game to another drive automatically.

To transfer Steam games to another drive:

Step 1. Connect the destination drive to your computer.

Step 2. Choose the games you want to change the location.

Step 3. Transfer the games to the destination drive.

Fix 6. Verify Integrity for Steam Game Files

Try to verify integrity for Steam games files at first if you see games keep crashing or their models missing unknowingly.

Step 1. Reboot system and then launch Steam.

Step 2. Select the "LIBRASY" tab and right-click the game that sends disk errors and select "Properties".

Step 3. Click the "LOCAL FILES" tab, and then you can see "VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES…" button. Click it.

Step 4. Steam starts verifying game files, which may take a couple of minutes. Please note that some files may fail to verify, which is normal for most Steam games. That's because these files are local configuration files, and they cannot be disturbed as part of this action.

Step 5. When all files are validated successfully, you can retry installing updates and see whether the disk error is removed.

verify steam integrity

Fix 7. Remove Write Protection from the Steam Drive

When a disk is written-protected, you're prevented from modifying it, such as formatting, writing data, or installing programs. That's the other possible reason why you receive disk errors on Steam. Simply use the diskpart command to clear write protection and remove the error.

Step 1. Press "Win + R", type cmd to open "Command Prompt".

Step 2. Type diskpart and hit "Enter".

remove write protection

Step 3. Type list disk and hit "Enter".

list disk

Step 4. Type select disk 0 (Replace 0 with the write-protected device number) and hit "Enter".

Step 5. Type attributes disk clear readonly and hit "Enter".

Step 6. Type exit to close the diskpart window once the write protection removing process is finished.

Restart your PC and check if you can access your Steam again.

If you don't consider yourself a pro-computer user and you're not familiar with command-lines, don't worry. There are graphical-based solutions to help you remove write-protection from your hard drives, USB drives, and even SD cards.

EaseUS CleanGenius is one of these tools that helps you fix aforementioned issues on your drives without knowing a thing about command-line.

Here's an easy-to-follow guide on how to use this tool to get your issues sorted:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS CleanGenius (free) on your computer.

Step 2: Run EaseUS CleanGenius on your PC, select Optimization and choose the Write Protection mode.

disable write protection

Step 3: Select the device that is write-protected and click Disable to remove the protection.

Disable Write Protection from storage devices.

Fix 8. Remove Disk Write Error by Reinstalling Steam

If you still cannot fix Steam disk write error in windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, you should reinstall Steam. Reinstalling Steam can resolve potential issues with Steam client and service files. However, this process will remove Steam and any installed game content from your machine. 

To Uninstall Steam:

Step 1. Exit Steam. Move the Steamapps folder out of C:\Program Files\Steam to keep game installations.

Step 2. Click the Windows Start button and select "Control Panel".

Step 3. Open the "Add" or "Remove Programs" dialog. Select "Steam" from the list and click the "Change/Remove" button

Step 4. Select the Automatic option and click "Next".

Step 5. Click "Finish" to uninstall Steam

To Install Steam:

Step 1. Visit https://store.steampowered.com/about/

Step 2. Click the "Install Steam" button and allow the Steam installer to download.

reinstall steam

Step 3. Once downloaded, click "run/open" and follow the instructions to install the Steam client onto your computer.

Log in, and all of your activated game keys will be available in the "Library" section.

Fix 9. Contact Steam Official Support

You can also turn to Steam's official support for help. Its technical support team can walk you through potential solutions for your specific problem. What's more, you can also find help in the Steam Community forum.

Step 1. Turn to the support team for help. 

Step 2. Visit the Steam Community forum to get additional information. 


We have walked you through nine solutions for your Steam disk read or write error. Try any one of them to solve your Steam disk errors. If you have any other practical strategies on removing the disk write error on Steam, let us know.

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Disk Write Error Steam (FAQs)

If you want to learn extra information to fix disk write errors, you can read on.

How do I fix disk write error on Steam?

There are 9 ways to fix steam disk write error in Windows 10:

  • Fix 1. Restart Steam or PC    
  • Fix 2. Clear Download Cache    
  • Fix 3. Check and Repair Steam Disk Bad Sectors
  • Fix 4. Run as Administrator    
  • Fix 5. Move Game Folder...

Why does my Steam say disk write error?

Steam Disk Write Error While Downloading/Installing:

Commonly known as Steam disk write error, this issue can occur anytime when a game is updated or installed on Steam, leading to Steam being unable to complete the installation.

How can I repair my hard disk?

Steps to Repair Corrupted Hard Disk without Formatting

Step 1: Download EaseUS Partition Master and install it. Right-click the disk that you want to check, and then click "Surface test".

Step 2: The operation will be immediately performed. Bad sectors will be marked as red...

What causes a disk read error?

The most common cause of this error is an incorrect MBR configuration. This is usually caused by disk write errors, virus attacks, or power outages.

How Can We Help You

About the Author

Updated by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created over 200 posts that help users solve multiple issues and failures on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, and Macs. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interests.

Read full bio

Written by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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